My Neighborhood Bicycle Clique

I Love ….

… the records I’ve collected over the years that I think of as my friends. I’m not talking about all of them, obviously. But a surprisingly high percentage of them are “things” that I feel a very “people-like” attachment towards.

… the records I think of as acquaintances, even though I don’t have the same bond with them. I know them and can likely tell you a few things about how or when they came into my life, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.

… the records that feel like family. Some of the albums in this category were so easy to love, and so quick to love back, that I knew right away that we had a bond for life.

Others took their time and sat patiently on the shelf until I was ready. I imagine those records watching me gallivant around with the other groups of records. Maybe even judging the other records as being unworthy of my trust. These records were confident that I would need them someday and did not crave attention. These are sage-like records.

I truly consider these records, both the ones I loved right away and those that took their time, as family. Because “families,” like it or not, have the power to make us who we are more than any other force. Not only would you not be who you are without your family, you simply would not be. Without your mother and father you do not exist.

Here are a few I count among the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and friends that have become like family to me in my record collection.

1. Bob Dylan — Greatest Hits Vol. 2
This record was most likely purchased out of some “cut-out” bin of discounted LPs at some department store (back in the day even Sears used to have an odd, poorly stocked records dept.). I have no idea why we would have had this “double” record in my household if that wasn’t the case.

None of my friends would have been caught dead listening to this. So I spent a lot of time indoors listening to these songs, and Bob Dylan’s voice, alone. Kind of like how playing gin rummy with my grandma was totally acceptable but telling my friends that grandma would be joining us for a late summer pedal around on our Schwinn Stingrays would have gotten me (and Laverne) kicked out of my neighborhood bicycle clique.

2.  Blondie — Parallel Lines
I’ve written about this LP before. My specific copy is from a Nogales, Mexico swap meet. The family analogy here is maybe best represented as a badass aunt. I’ll never be anywhere near as cool as her but she’s always been there for me.

3.  Pilot — “Magic” 7”
Whenever I hear this song in a commercial or a movie I think to myself, “good old Uncle Pilot, it’s good to know he’s still kicking. Looking good too!”

I’ll try to share more family-worthy albums from time to time. Feel free to share some of your record family/friends here.